Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/786/17659
Them & Us
Tough at the top
Most workers given a P45 are lucky to get a week's statutory redundancy pay for every year employed. But not if you're an MP who was given the elbow in the last cabinet reshuffle.
All departing ministers are entitled to three months' severance pay if they do not get another cabinet post within three weeks.
This means that each Tory and Lib Dem MP involved will get up to £17,000 tax free, on top of their parliamentary salary; plus expenses, plus outside consultancy fees, plus...
Health secretary Jeremy Hunt's attempt to blame 'health tourism' for wrecking the National Health Service (NHS) instead of the government's cuts and privatisation policies has hit the rocks.
According to research by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and University of York, 18 NHS Trusts generated £42 million of income in 2010 from overseas patients.
So much then for Hunt's much publicised claim that 'health tourists' are costing the NHS £1.4 billion.
As the Socialist (issue 784) pointed out, Hunt's real aim is to establish a (massively expensive) system of charging in the NHS that will later be applied to us all.
Filthy rich? Pay up!
The Tories love sending vans round London telling immigrants to go home. Why don't they send vans round Belgravia and the City telling the rich to pay their taxes - £120 billion every year is dodged? They could say: "Are you filthy rich? Pay your taxes or face arrest!"
Thanks to Ken Douglas
Who would order a "Dutch Sandwich" or a "Double Irish"? Any number of giant multinational companies, as they are the pub grub names describing the tax avoidance scams of corporations.
These tax avoidance scams involve channelling mega-profits through Irish or Netherlands registered companies to zero corporate tax havens like Bermuda.
Despite all the hype from US President Obama and UK Prime Minister Cameron at June's G8 Summit about 'getting tough' on tax avoidance, these gaping loopholes will remain open after lobbying by corporations.
Meanwhile the UK government, again after intensive corporate lobbying, will allow high street names like BHS, Maplin, Pret, etc, to avoid £500 million in taxes by using the "quoted Eurobond exemption" loophole.
Payments by results
The banks who 'advised' the government on the bargain basement sell-off of Royal Mail were paid handsomely. And then paid again. And again.
Firstly they received £17 million in fees for their advice. They were also allocated 13 million shares.
These shares have since shown a profit of £29 million as the share price rose by over two-thirds to 555p. Some people might wonder in whose interest these advisers were advising?
Are 15-minute care visits to elderly people long enough? The short answer is, of course, no. But Worcestershire county council are to consider ending such visits and replacing them with "assistive technology".
Telehealth systems will monitor vital signs (if you can remember how to use them or where you put the instructions), and are linked to a call alarm.
In addition, telecare will remind you to take your medication or detects when you fall, by which time you have already fallen over. Forget Big Society, meet Big Technology
Thanks to Pete McNally
What we did
On the buses
While doing a 'join the socialists' stall in Leytonstone, east London, a bus driver beckoned me onto the bus while it was stopped at traffic lights.
He clearly wanted one of our leaflets, explaining why people should join the Socialist Party, so I stepped onto the bus and gave him one.
As I turned to get off he said "give them to everyone on the bus"! So I leafleted the bottom deck and told everyone that the driver wanted them to have the leaflet. Everyone took them and one person said he was already a supporter.
Sarah Wrack, Waltham Forest Socialist Party
In The Socialist 30 October 2013:
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party NHS campaigning
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